Archive for the ‘Music’ Tag

Rap and Hip Hop’s Dark History: Hijacked by Greed   Leave a comment

 

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…Right.

This is the first of what will probably be a monthly series on the subject of Rap and Hip Hop’s evolution. I’ve thought about doing this for some time and more so after I wrote that blog post on why I never liked BET. I plan to write on this topic through June ^_^

Before we can talk about Hip Hop’s history over the last 30 years, we first need to talk about its origins. For those who do not know, Rap is basically poetry over beats. Rap as a genre dates back hundreds of years. Like Rock & R0ll, Blues and Jazz, its origins are African. The difference is unlike those three genres, it was not white-washed when it became popular in the U.S. Not until very recently, anyway.

Before it was…”re-discovered” in the Bronx in 1983, Hip Hop was lost to time. Much of that was due to the slave trade in West Africa that saw over 15 million Africans forced from their homes, packed on boats and sent to The Americas as slaves against their will. Before Slavery ravaged Africa, Hip Hop was used as a form of spoken word to preserve the histories of families, tribes, nations and traditions. Written literature did exist but it was far more efficient to use hip hop and rap to preserve and convey important and practical information.

When Africans were brought to the U.S., they used music to keep the old traditions alive as well as to communicate in secret under the watchful eyes of their new masters and overseers. The rise of Abolitionist Movement during the 19th Century saw most African American Slaves stripped of what was a way of life for them. They would begin to regain that lost knowledge before and during The Great Depression. As time marched on, old traditions long lost to time began to resurface.

 

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…It would be fair to say that Hip Hop was re-discovered in 1983 in the Bronx. Talk to anyone in the Bronx today and they will tell you that what Hip Hop was in the span of time from 1985 to about…I wanna say 2009 was not what Hip Hop was back then. What happened? Greed, that’s what. The Music industry wanting a piece of the pie and the allure of fame were the main reasons but they weren’t the only reasons Rap changed so suddenly and drastically in the mid-80s.

The message and Hip Hop’s purpose were what changed. Remember what I said at the top: Rap is basically poetry over beats. In the early years Hip Hop was used as a way to talk about politics, where you came from, who you are and what you’re about. You had rappers and artists talking about real issues, empowerment and learning from the mistakes of others. NWA’s “Express Yourself” is pointed to from that era as a song with positive messages though of course you had your occasional diss tracks. They were nowhere near as direct and person as they would become a few years later though.

Starting in 1985, we would see a dramatic shift in how Rap and Hip Hop would be used and how it would be viewed and consumed. People like to blame Public Enemy and later NWA for the dramatic shift but it would be more accurate to say the intentions of those who got into “The Rap Game”–and I will talk about this in a separate blog–were motivated by fame and fortune more than anything else.

…To Be Continued.

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TMZ: Followup to ‘Straight Outta Compton’ in the works   Leave a comment

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…Given Straight Outta Compton just passed the $80 Million mark in profits made since its premiere last weekend, I’m not exactly surprised. Since it IS TMZ that is reporting it, I admit I’m a bit skeptical to take the announcement at face value.

Thr sequel, titled Dogg Pound 4 Life will apparently pick up where the N.W.A’s biopic left off. The new movie will focus on Snoop Dogg and Tupac’s early rise though Warren G, Kurupt and the late Nate Dogg’s careers (For those who don’t know, he died five years ago after suffering a stroke) will be touched on as well. It will presumably cover Death Row Records’ rise and fall under Suge Knight, who Dr. Dre worked with during the label’s early years before leaving to found Aftermath.

Speaking of, I touched on this in my review of Straight Outta Compton but Suge is believed to have had a hand in the deaths of Tupac and Biggie Smalls and possibly Easy-E’s death as well. Suge is currently sitting in prison where he belongs on unrelated murder charges. And he’s dying from a medical complication. AND going blind. Sweet irony, I know.

Anyways, a source told TMZ the new movie will do what Straight Outta Compton didn’t do and not shy away from the influence Gang Violence had on West Coast Rap. I think that idea will backfire if they go all in. Eminem, 50 Cent and N.W.A. were smart in skirting around this in 8 Mile, Get Rich or Die Tryin’ and Straight Outta Compton, respectively. Not touching it doesn’t mean it wasn’t an influence. You only need to listen to their music to know it was. That doesn’t mean they need to revisit it in such lucid detail.

Ice Cube and his son put out a joint statement earlier today saying they will not be involved in the new movie despite rumors spread saying they were involved. Ice Cube is currently in Europe promoting Straight Outta Compton, which will make it European debut this weekend.  Andre Young, who played his father Dr. Dre in the N.W.A. biopic will reprise the role in the new movie, who is also co-producing the new film.

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Seriously thinking about it, there’s not much to tell about Death Row: The label was formed by Dr. Dre, Suge Knight, The D.O.C. and Snoop Dogg in 1991. The label fell apart after Dre left in 1995 and Tupac’s death the following year. Suge Knight serving time after Tupac’s death left the label without strong leadership and that ultimately killed the label, which filed for bankruptcy in 2009. Everyone was long gone by then to boot.Death Row died with Tupac prettymuch. Everything released after his death was remixes and unreleased tracks made by Dr. Dre and Tupac.

Snoop Dogg is said to be heavily involved as the movie will mostly focus on the label he formed after leaving Death Row, The Dogg Pound. That makes sense given unlike N.W.A., Death Row was quickly forgotten after Tupac’s death. The ironic thing is several artists who were with Death Row ended up dead–Tupac was just the most known. Some say that’s the reason they tried rebranding as Tha Row and why everyone left.

Straight Outta Compton and N.W.A. 27 Years Later   Leave a comment

I watched the movie Tuesday afternoon in Boston. The audience was diverse and the theater was packed despite it being a Tuesday afternoon. Not surprising given who it’s about.

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Top: NWA’s Movie Counterparts. Ice Cube’s son plays him in the movie.

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The remaining Members of N.W.A. and Straight Outta Compton director F. Gary Gray and Jason Mitchell, who played the late Eric “Easy-E” Wright (from top-left): Ice Cube, Gray, Dr. Dre, DJ Yella, Mitchell and MC Ren.

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…Before I begin, I do want to point out Straight Outta Compton is the name of both the movie and the 1988 album by N.W.A. The movie’s nearly two hours long and likely due to time, I noticed certain scenes shown in the movie trailer weren’t in the theatrical release. More on that in a little bit. To those who may be wondering thankfully, the actual music is used. Having ALL of the original members having a part in the movie’s production sure helped of course (LOL).

N.W.A.

Anyone even remotely interested in Rap or Hip Hop knows and if they don’t, SHOULD know that without N.W.A., there would be no Snoop Dogg, Eminem or 50 Cent. There would be no Tupac, Death Row Records, Aftermath Records, Shady Records or Menace II Society. Before there was Bone Thugs N Harmony, there was N.W.A.

They legendary rap group had the balls to speak their minds through their music at the height out the “War on Drugs”. They had the balls to say what everyone was thinking but didn’t have the balls to say. As Ice Cube’s son says as him in the film, their music was a reflection of their reality. 27 years later, the imfamous song Fuck tha Police is heralded as the most controversial track ever recorded. Why?

The track speaks for itself (Lyrics included):

…Unsurprisingly, the track has gained a recent surge in popularity and universal appeal in recent years for obvious reasons. Most folks are familiar with the song Express Yourself, which is actually on the SAME album as Fuck tha Police. The cover track is the first one as well.

Now let’s talk about the movie Straight Outta Compton. As I noted at the top, all of surviving members of N.W.A–Ice Cube, Dr. Dre, DJ Yella and MC Ren–played a part in the movie’s production. Ice Cube and Dr. Dre co-produced the movie. As he said in a recent interview on ESPN, he didn’t give preferential treatment to his son, who plays him in the film. Jason Mitchell plays Easy-E, who died of AIDS in 1995. In the days since the movie’s release this past weekend, Easy-E’s daughter made some comments on Twitter some interpreted as concern over how her father is portrayed in the film. She clarified her statements the same day and announced she’s working on a side project about her father. Mitchell has been tapped to reprise his role as Easy-E in it as well.

Another thing folks have been saying online is how MC Ren and DJ Yella were barely there and that Dre, Easy-E and Ice Cube dominated screen time for the most part. Shouldn’t be a surprise given Dre and ‘Cube co-produced the movie (LOL). Seriously though, the movie was done as a tribute to Easy-E. Ren and Yella know that so it’s all good.

That said, one of Dr. Dre’s ex-girlfriends said Monday his abusive relationships with his girlfriends was conveniently left out of the movie. Those who know about it knows he settled all that a while ago and publicly apologized. Her words were for the majority who may not be aware. Ice Cube got into fistfights with alot of people shortly after he left Ruthless Records but only one was shown in the movie. Like I said two paragraphs ago, Easy-E’s daughter raised concerns about her father’s portrayal in the movie. At the end of the day, Straight Outta Compton is about the rise and fall of the GROUP N.W.A. I’ll get to this later on but since the group broke up–and this is already well-known–Dr. Dre and Ice Cube have gone on to enjoy success since they left the group.

Moving on, the movie is interesting in which there were no cameo appearances by living persons who were around at the time. After Dre left N.W.A., he teamed up with the Suge Knight and formed Death Row Records. Tupac makes a brief appearance (not actually him, mind you) in the booth recording his smash hit Hail Mary. Snoop Dogg (not playing himself) also makes a brief appearance where he

There were a few scenes that were mentioned in the trailer that diffent make it to the theatrical release: in one, Easy-E pulls an AK-47 out of a black duffel bag. A scene with him holding it does make it into the movie. Another scene cut was Dr. Dre talking to his wife in jail after his arrest in Miami. I assume they and others were cut due to time constraints. Hopefully. they will all be included in the Blu-Ray/DVD Release, which I plan to buy when it comes out.

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Now, let me direct your attention to Suge Knight, above. Alot of folks agreed his portrayal in the movie was spot-on: Suge is alot of things he would later go out of his way to try to sweep under the rug. As Dre would find out in the movie when they worked together, Suge is a user, a snake, violent and greedy. What made him especially dangerous was he didn’t have a problem doing his own dirty work. Now that he’s dying in prison from a medical complication, he can’t hurt anyone anymore. As the saying goes, the longest rope has an end.

You can’t talk about the deaths of Easy-E, Tupac and Biggie Smalls and NOT talk about Suge Knight. Why? Because his name comes up as a person of interest in all three deaths. We know Biggie and Pac were shot but Suge was one of the last people to see both of them alive just before they died. We also know Suge later admitted in an interview after Biggie’s death he was the one who instigated the Biggie vs. Tupac beef that lead to both of their deaths. Their murders remain unsolved to this day and by the way, the two didn’t have a problem with each other. They were both victims of the Rap Game.

As for why Suge’s name is mentioned in regards to Easy-E’s death, it’s because it was well-known they didn’t like each other. In the movie there is a scene where Suge Knight and some of his boys jump Easy-E in the studio to force him to cut Dr. Dre from his contract with Ruthless Records, who was unofficially working for Death Row Records at the time.

We know Easy-E died from AIDS but the million-dollar question yet to be answered is how did an otherwise reasonably healthy man get it? Two things about AIDS have changed since 1993: AIDS is no longer a death sentence and sex with an infected person is no longer the most common way it’s spread. That said, there is a theory that’s been growing in popularity since Suge’s arrest that he had Easy-E injected with HIV-positive blood. After all, Easy-E didn’t know he was infected until it was too late. What makes it even more suspicious is Suge Knight’s disrespectful comments about Easy-E’s death after being told of his portrayal in the movie by his attorney. Just makes him look even more guilty if you ask me!

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Left to Right: Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, Marshall Mathers aka Eminem aka Slim Shady and Andrew “Dr. Dre” Young.

Switching gears, Dr. Dre is easily the richest former member of N.W.A. and it’s mostly because of the two guys pictured with him above: 50 Cent and Eminem. Dre signed Eminem to Aftermath in the late 90s, turning the Hip Hop world upside down in Eminem’s debut track Forgot about Dre:

…The rest, as they say is history. Even his haters know to gave credit where credit’s due: He knows the game better than anyone else. He’s got the eyes and ears for it.

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Ice Cube, who made his acting debut in the 1991 movie Boyz in the Hood is the most prolific former member of the group. You probably know him from such movies as XXX 2: State of the Union, Are We There Yet?, The Barbershop and Friday. Ride Along 2 will be in theaters September 18 and according to his IMDB page, The Barbershop 3 is coming sometime next year. Ice Cube returned to the recording studio for the first time in over a decade a few years ago for a live show. He’s still got it and he’s come out of retirement as an artist.

Getting back to the movie Straight Outta Compton, they clearly took a page out of Selma’s playbook with the movie release’s timing: Selma, which was released in theaters earlier this year came out just before Eddie Gray’s death in Baltimore. I talked about it in a blog post on the subject. The same can easily be said about Straight Outta Compton with CNN’s coverage of African American men being pulled over by police, usually ending in their deaths.

The movie touches on this as noted in the trailers where members of the group are shook down by police early on. The reason? They just happened to be black men standing outside their home or workplace. This was–and still is–the reality of black young men and it’s the main reason I stayed the fuck off the streets during the 1990s. THAT is one of the main points the Black Lives Matter Movement is raising: We live in a country where one race is assumed guilty even if proven innocent simply because of their skin color.

Oh, that reminds me: For the Los Angeles and Compton premieres of the movie, there was a heavy police presence “as a precaution”. Not long after, this meme showed up on the internet:

Tongue in cheek but sadly relevant: The same week the Aurora, Colorado theater shooter (not saying his name) got what he deserved, there was another mass shooting in Texas in which two people were killed. A third shooting happened at yet another theater in Lafayette the week after but only the gunman was killed (suicide). All three were white. CNN sounded pretty disappointed nothing happened at Straight Outta Compton’s premeires in L.A. and Compton in an interview 😄

…Not owning your mistakes doesn’t mean you’re off the hook.

In closing, I give this movie a 10/10 easily. They didn’t outright say it but I think N.W.A. knew they would have to wait before they could do their biopic in their own words on THEIR terms. Owning the music used certainly helped: In other recent biopics based on black artists, they couldn’t use any of their actual music due to how expensive paying for copyright permission would have been. This is why you wanna maintain ownership of your music: Once you sign a contract with a label, it’s no longer yours.

There are many takeaways in the movie, most of which were clearly directed at both those who lived at the time and young people today. The LA Riots after Rodney King’s trial was touched on in the movie. That was a clear nod to the Black Lives Matter movement of today. Towards the beginning of the movie, a kid on the bus ‘Cube is riding on throws up a gang sign at two members of the Crips driving next to the bus. The Crips stop the bus with guns drawn and prettymuch tells the kid (and the others) the “Gangsta Life” isn’t something they want to get caught up in. Not unless they wanna end up dead or in prison. This was a pretty important scene given it was a lifestyle alot of kids idolized at the time.

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…Whew, ok I think I covered everything…oh, wait scratch that: As of this writing, Straight Outta Compton’s grossed $60.2 Million at the box office and there is even talk of an Oscar nomination. The same was said about Selma but the movie was subbed when Oscar time came around. This movie getting an Oscar would be both vindication for N.W.A. and the acceptence of rap by the mainstream, which not even Eminem’s 8-Mile got.

Only time will tell.

As a bonus for reading this much, here’s a scene from the movie:

 

 

I finally figured out why Frozen feels nostalgic when I watch it   Leave a comment

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…And the funny thing is I realized it when I bought the soundtrack from a non-Disney classc, An American Tail. For those born after 1995, you probably have no memory of what I like to call the final days of children’s movie blockbusters. In plain English: Hugely popular movies geared towards younger audiences that became smash hits by fans of all ages.

I consider myself lucky to have grown up when movies like Aladdin, Home Alone, Hook and The Lion King premiered. For TOO LONG, there hasn’t really been a kid-centric movie since the late 90s that would easily have folks talking about it 20 years later. Then Frozen came on to the scene two years ago.

Let’s take a look at the hit song, Let It Go:

Not ashamed to say I bought two copies of Frozen’s soundtrack and have listened to this song over 400 times. Now, you millenials are new to the runaway hit phenomenon that is this song. It also asks the question of which is more popular: The song or the movie?

Disney did this almost every year during the 1990s starting with 1991’s The Little Mermaid. Here’s the hit song from that movie that I know parents are not ashamed to sing acapella in the family car/minivan, Under The Sea:

Samuel E. Wright voiced Sebastian, Triton’s majordomo and royal composer. Wright himself is an experienced musician. After the movie’s release, he recorded some  kids’ sing-alongs. Here’s one of them:

 

…He’s got range to say the least! According to an interview with him, Disney approached him to offer him the role. He’s still in the business though obviously, the royalties from his work with Disney ALONE will ensure he’s set for life!

Moving on to Aladdin next. I’ll skip over Beauty & The Beast though the track Gaston (who, by the way is the movie’s bad guy BECAUSE he’s awesome in every way) has been enjoying renewed popularity due to cosplayers. That movie’s hit song Beauty & The Beast, like Aladdin’s hit song A Whole New World has two versions: The movie version and a single post-production version. Here’s the movie version:

We’ll look at three more songs before we stop. I’ll pause for a moment to remind folks the legendary Robin Williams had been tapped for this movie, contributing my personal favorite Prince Ali as well as the smash hit Never Had a Friend Like Me to the film. Disney established its dominance with this film. It was a powerhouse as a movie maker.

Then 1995’s The Lion King changed the game: Three years after its release, Disney was forced to change the movie’s rating from G to PG. The reason: Mufasa’s death scene and the aftermath involving Simba and Scar. That was pretty dark for Disney as they’d never done anything like that up until this movie. The other reason they changed the rating were the high-profile school shootings in America at the time (Columbine happened in 1997). The movie has a number of memorable songs but it’s the opening number that draws you in:

The Lion King was the highest-selling film in studio history until Frozen was released. It nuked all expectations when it was released. The Broadway Adaptation, which launched in 2005 for the movie’s 10-year anneversary has toured all over the world. Here’s the opening number:

Before I forget, the moment where Rafiki raises Simba atop Pride Rock is an homage to Alex Haley’s Roots. Here is the famous scene:

Oh and yes a woman is cast as Rafiki in the Broadway version. No biggie. Johnathan Taylor Thomas voiced young Simba while the legendary James Earl Jones (aka Darth Vader) voiced Mufasa. Moving on, we’re looking at another big budget film that had its teaser included in the original VHS release of The Lion King: Pocahontas.

Like The Lion King before it, Disney did its homework to be as accurate and respectful as possible to the descendants of the Native American tribe featured in the movie. I mean in terms of how they were depicted in the film and its sequel. In the movie’s teasier, Disney did something it hasn’t done since and gave audiences the movie’s lead song almost a year ahead of the movie’s theatrical release, Colors of the Wind:

…By the way, I didn’t miss an interesting message portrayed in the movie: The arrival of the Englishmen and Jamestown’s settlement heralded the beginning of the end of Native American life as they knew it. I don’t think this underlying message was intentionally put in but that message was pretty obvious. It’s more overtly done in James Cameron’s Avatar. The call to protect the unspoiled parts of our world is raised as well. America looked very different from how it does now 100 years ago.

Anyway, I say it’s about time the Disney and knew and loved as a kid made a comeback. The generation before mine has fond memories of The Sound of Music. The current generation now has Frozen. It was a movie that came in at just the right time. The musical numbers carried the movies. Thanks to Frozen, it looks like Disney is going back to its roots ^_^

 

Support your favorite music artists and BUY their music   1 comment

Honestly, I’m sick of folks who come up with every excuse they can think of to pirate music. The one that I hear the most is “I refuse to give <insert record label or artist here> a cent of my money” but they turn around and grab a pirated copy of the song from the internet.

Believe it or not, Piracy really is NOT a victimless crime. That said, I can be transparent and say I do use overseas mirror sites to download music I can’t find legally. Specifically songs from Anime and video games. Aside from those areas I buy all the music I have.

if you want to know how Piracy effects the artists who make the music, just ask some in your neck of the woods. They’ll tell you. Some are so bothered by the very idea someone will pirate their songs they refuse to sell their music digitally. Others take it a step further and won’t even sell their music in stores to force folks who want their music to either track them down or see them at a show.

A new Michael Jackson album was released worldwide today on iTunes. Unlike 2009’s Michael, XSCAPE’s Deluxe Album includes the remixed versions and the original versions on the same album. I’ll speak more on the subject on MJ’s unreleased music going public next month on the anniversary of his death but unlike Michael, no one doubts MJ did the vocals in XSCAPE. By the way I loved the 2009 album Michael. I blame the haters claiming to be MJ fans not giving it a chance for tarnishing it.

I’ll give a review of the new album sometime Wednesday (tomorrow) on Facebook and Amazon.

 

Jay-Z: The Greatest Biter in Hip-Hop History?   Leave a comment

Before I even get started and present the evidence, let me say this: There is a clear difference between paying homage to another artist and profiting off their lyrics.

That said, I give you Exhibit A. You will hear the source artist first and Jay-Z second:

This is the one I have with Cam’ron narrating the track:

And here’s Exhibit B only you will hear Jay-Z first and the source artist second this time:

 

The funny thing: In 2006, Jay-Z went public with his interest in coming out of retirement as a recording artist. Two years earlier, DJ Felli Fel did the presentation you see in the first video after several listeners noticed familiar lines in many of the songs Jay-Z is known for–What’s My Name (if that title sounds familiar, this was the song that introduced the world to Snoop Dogg in 1994), Hard Knock Life (This song was famously featured on 20/20 in 1998 to coincide with the anniversary of the movie Annie. Jay-Z remixed the song from the movie in his version of the song) and 99 Problems to name a few. The song played on Hot 107 and was heard by everyone with a radio in New York City.

In 2008, Cam’ron used it to target Jay-Z once he announced his comeback tour.  The obvious career-ending and embarassing evidence has been largely unanswered by Jay-Z to this day though like many other established artists he has no shortage of enemies. It’s interesting to note everyone whose songs he took lyrics from in the second video don’t even like him and neither did Tupac according to Cam’ron. Everyone and their brother’s borrowed lyrics from The Notorious B.I.G. and that’s one thing.

It’s another to take lyrics from several dozen songs and almost a dozen artists over a 20-year career, become famous over, give no credit and claim your songs are 100% original. This is exactly what he did. I have family members who’ve done work in the music industry in the past and I played the above song (the one with Cam’ron’s commentary) for them. They all told me it would’ve been one thing if he only did it a couple times on B-tracks or at the very least gave the original artist/writer a mention but he does neither.

I have friends and family in Brooklyn and the laundry list of Regular Joes Jay-Z basically used during his climb to fame and return to international stardom can probably circle the planet a few times. Surprisingly, if someone in Brooklyn tells you they personally know Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter, they’re probably telling the truth. Even though at one time he was referred to as one of The Notorious B.I.G.’s chosen successors as the King of New York alongside Nas, he himself is guilty of turning his back on the people who had his back when he was an unknown. This is why he was targeted by 50 Cent and later Cam’ron and The Diplomats.

A big Asterisk should be put next to his name for every reward and honor he’s ever won.

He’s a fraud and it’s obvious he’s an attention whore. When I first heard the track above I lost all respect for him as an artist. I’ve also noticed in his more recent live tours he avoids doing the songs with lyrics he took from others. Either that or he’ll remix the song in his live shows to exclude the stolen lyrics. This tells me he’s aware people know he ripped off alot of folks.

To the Jay-Z fans in the crowd, what say you? Can you honestly tell me you support a guy who build a multimillion-dollar empire on a foundation of lies? I couldn’t.

As much as folks like to bash Michael Jackson, at least he did it all himself. He didn’t need help from someone else. Speaking of which, it’s also intreresting to note everyone who’s ever done a cover or spoof of one of MJ’s songs got his permission before they did it as a show of respect. Jay-Z doesn’t have any respect for anyone from what the evidence says.

The You Tube Revolution has FINALLY Begun   Leave a comment

All I can really say is it’s about time.

I was one of the first to stand up and say You Tube was systematically taking away their users freedom of expression in conjuction with the RIAA. Some will say the problems started when YouTube was bought by Google 6 years ago. Before the buyout You Tube was a massive free for all. Everything under the sun including pirated movies, tv shows and so on were shared on You Tube. After the buyout YouTube cleaned house.

The problem is they didn’t stop there.

Things escalated from closing accounts used to upload pirated movies to blocking videos in the U.S. for having copyrighted music playing in the background. Now granted, the buyout by Google brought some organization to YouTube but nowadays you’ll find few who make music who actually likes the RIAA. It’s free advertising for them as far as they’re concerned. Oh, speaking of advertisements. As I’m sure you’ve been finding out all year, Google has been coming up with new and creative ways to stick advertisements in every single video on You Tube. This is kinda related but for those who have Chromebooks, did you know Google is using the info you store on those computers to better spam you with junk mail? That isn’t baseless rhetoric from Apple and Microsoft (“Don’t get Scroogled”). It’s fact.

Anyway, folks are beginning to take a stand against You Tube’s practices. Now don’t get me wrong Google has no plans on EVER changing its copyright policy. They have it set up in a way that ANYONE can claim copyrighted material is theirs even though it’s obvious they’re not the copyright holder. It’s an automated system that requires little to no oversight from a Google employee. Ergo, it’s not equitable to change their system.

The only options we video makers/uploaders have is to go elsewhere or make a new video host site. I think a combimation of both is in order. I have been looking at Daily Motion, Blip.tv, Vimeo and Veoh. over the last two years as alternatives. I think it would be far better for someone to just make a site than to just jump to one of those sites. More and more Cable Channels, Anime Companies, Major Sports (NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, MLS, Olympics, NCAA, NASCAR, etc.) and sports entertainment (WWE, UFC and TNA) have been streaming their programs through their own websites. Yes, much of it is because some folks will upload live feeds to You Tube after it aired but at the same time they don’t want their content regulated by a third party company.

Now I want to back up a little bit and give the less tech-savy folks out there who use You Tube in on three truths you should always keep in mind:

  1. Unless otherwise noted, an ordinary person like you uploaded the video to the site.
  2. If the video contains copyrighted music and the uploader is not a musician, it will be flagged and blocked or removed in short order.
  3. You Tube has a Three Strikes Policy when it comes to uploading Copyrighted or offendable material. Three Strikes and your account’s closed.

 

See, the thing less tech-savy folks SHOULD know is You Tube’s automated system only does what it’s programmed to do. It does take into account, for example someone walking by with Lady Gaga blaring on their iPhone. It does not account for someone WITH permission uploading copyrighted material. All it knows is someone not in its recorded uploaded something in conflict with the programmed peramaters. Fanmade Music Videos made with copyrighted songs used to be everywhere until a few years ago. What happened? The new copyright policy is what happened. It forced those who make AMVs as they’re also called to look to other sites or just use Rapidshare or Mediafire.

At last, The Revolution has begun.

As more and more people become aware, new video host sites will rise. I don’t expect these new sites to reach even the level of popularity You Tube has but when they come they will be here to stay.

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